A team of a hearing care professional and an ENT specialist has been working the streets of war-torn Kiev, discovering a high number of people who have lost their hearing as a result of bomb explosions and artillery fire.
And they have been working on wheels, touring districts in a specially equipped van in search of those who need hearing help.
Taras Kurilets is an audiologist from the Aurora Hearing Centre, Kiev.
During pauses in the Russian bombing of this north-central region of Ukraine, he and an otorhinolaryngologist drive through the bombed streets on Kiev suburbs, carrying out hearing consultations.
This is an area where many inhabitants have had their houses destroyed by Russian military action. For months they have lived without communication, electricity, gas, even water. Many of them have lost family, often in atrocious situations. Many are wounded.
Twice a week, the Aurora team drives around in their fitted-out van, carrying out examinations and auditory diagnoses, giving treatment recommendations, and supplying any necessary medication.
After a month of work, Taras Kurilets reported that “irreversible hearing loss was diagnosed for many citizens, either long-term loss or acquired because of very loud sounds: explosions and artillery fire.
“Hearing aids are needed for these cases. But these people are still full of energy and feel ashamed of the aids, perceiving them either as a sign of weakness or feeling the time is not right for their use.”
In this land devastated by war, the psychological barrier still exists for hearing aids.
Behind this operation is the Aurora Hearing Centre, Kiev, part of one of Ukraine’s principal hearing aid firms and Vidchui Association.
By Corinne Couté for Audio Infos France Image © Aurora